Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Thinking Visible: The 21st Century Learning Initiative


Apprenticeships are often thought about as an old-fashioned way to learn something. One might think about a of shoemaker (they do still exist!) or a fine woodworker who learns at the elbow of a master. 

As I consider what has drawn me to use the term ‘apprentice’, it is the understanding that there is something to be learned that goes beyond reading instructions. ‘Apprenticing’ means being in relationship with someone charged with teaching you to become a skillful, situational problem solver.  It is fundamentally social learning.

Cognitive apprenticeships appeal to me because they teach a mindset: the master craftsperson narrates their thought processes. What’s is behind the action? why might someone choose A, not B? It is a powerful way to teach someone how to think critically! 

Here’s a great article describing cognitive apprentice learning:  Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Thinking Visible « The 21st Century Learning Initiative.

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